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Series Win: Jimmie hockey wins rubber match with ASU

Jamestown's Michael Pruss (right) and Arizona's Garrett Brown reach for the puck Thursday during some ice action at John L. Wilson Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun1 / 2
Jamestown's Garret Browning (21) and teammates celebrate a score on an open net in the second period against Arizona Thursday at John L. Wilson Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun2 / 2

After every game the University of Jamestown hockey team gives a spartan helmet to the player they think played the best.

Goalie Tyson Brouwer handed the helmet over to sophomore defender Graeme Close Thursday night at John L. Wilson Arena. Close not only scored his first goal of the season in a 5-2 Jimmie victory over visiting Arizona State, but he also helped hold the Sun Devils to just 27 shots on goal.

"He's steady," said Jimmie head coach Cole Bell of the sophomore blue liner. "He's not going to go out there and be flashy or do anything wild and crazy. He's steady, he's reliable and he always seems to be in the right spot defensively."

Overall, five Jamestown players contributed a goal in the victory, which gave the Jimmies a 2-1 series victory over the Sun Devils. Jamestown split a pair at Arizona State in November.

"It's been pretty nice honestly," Close said. "The start of the new year, a lot of guys have been pitching in."

Sophomore forward Jeremy McNeil got the Jimmies off to a quick start after Arizona State goalie Tyler Martz mishandled the wrist shot. After Jamestown pressed for most of the period, freshman defender Hunter Long answered back for for the Sun Devils to end the period in a 1-1 tie.

"We got away from our style of play in the first," Bell said. "I don't know whatever the reason might've been. We got away from being aggressive, moving our feet and really having a high compete level."

The Jimmies came out with a much different attitude in the second as sophomore forward Cole McKechney notched a power-play goal, and another hiccup by Martz in front of the net ended in a tap in by sophomore defender Garret Browning.

After senior forward Phoenix McElroy-Scott and Close scored, things began to get physical between the two teams.

Jamestown sophomore Kyle Baron checked a Arizona State player that ended in both teams scrumming near the Jimmies' blue line.

After a lengthy discussion, the referees gave Baron a five-minute major for head contact. Freshman defender Trevor Pereverzoff joined his teammate in the box for roughing. Freshman forward Owen Larson and freshman forward Alex Lofink each got roughing minors for Arizona State.

"That's hockey," Bell said. "We want to be a physical team, we're going to have to deal with that stuff on occasion. Just like anybody else, people don't like getting hit and people don't like being beat on the scoreboard—it was 5-1 at that point and we were pretty much dominating that entire game."

Jagr Larson scored a late goal for the Sun Devils and more talk ensued.

The Jimmies now host University of Las Vegas for a doubleheader Friday and Saturday. Tonight's contest begins at 7 p.m.

"It's going to be another step up," Bell said. "UNLV is a good team."

(16) Jamestown 5, Arizona State 2

ARI 1 0 1 -- 2

JAM 1 2 2 -- 5


First period

1. J,Jeremy McNeil (Phoenix McElroy-Scott, Dylan Haney), 1:32; 2. 2. A, Hunter Long (Zach Kowalchuk), 17:30; 2.

Second period

3. J, Cole McKechney (Trevor Okino, Jason Richter), 8:05; 5. 4. J, Garret Browning (Unassisted), 10:42; 2.

Third period

5. J, Phoenix McElroy-Scott (Cole McKechney, Cameron Todd), 6:27; 5. 6. Graeme Close (Allan Pruss), 14:35; 1. Jagr Larson (Zach Kowalchuk), 18:52; 8.

Goalie saves: A, Tyler Martz 35; J, Tyson Brouwer 25.

Penalties: A, 6 minors for 12 minutes. J, 8 minors for 16 minutes; 1 five minute major

Records: Jamestown 12-12-0-1. Arizona State 9-17-0-0.

Mitchell Johnson

Hometown: Enumclaw, WA; College: Central Washington University

(360) 918-1853